Bucs coordinator: Jameis Winston for Rookie of Year is 'no-brainer'

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter admits he's biased, but to him there is no doubt Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston should be NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Koetter was quick to point out that Winston has touched the ball on every offensive snap of the Bucs' season. Only three other quarterbacks have taken every offensive snap for their teams: New England's Tom Brady, Jacksonville's Blake Bortles and Washington's Kirk Cousins. And none of them are rookies.

"When you've got a guy who touches the ball every single offensive snap of the season, that guy is really going to be tough to beat," Koetter said. "Not one of the guys [being] mentioned has touched the ball every snap of the season. You look at what Jameis has done -- his numbers for a rookie quarterback are pretty darn good."

Winston, the first overall pick in the draft, has thrown for 3,717 yards and 22 touchdowns. Both totals are the fourth-most by a rookie since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.

With 283 passing yards in the season finale at Carolina, Winston will become only the third rookie in NFL history to throw for at least 4,000 yards, joining Andrew Luck (4,374 in 2012) and Cam Newton (4,051 in 2011). With one more passing touchdown, he can tie Luck for the third-most by a rookie in league history. Peyton Manning (1998) and Russell Wilson (2012) each threw 26.

"You're coming in as the top pick in the draft," Bucs head coach Lovie Smith said. "There are high expectations of you coming in. I think I've been pretty consistent with my answers as far as Jameis Winston is concerned. He's been outstanding, about as much as you can ask for from a rookie quarterback coming into the league -- a guy whose arrow is definitely pointing [up]. We're going to win a lot of football games with him."

St. Louis running back Todd Gurley, Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota and Oakland receiver Amari Cooper have done good things this season. Gurley, who missed the first two games while rehabilitating a knee injury, is third in the league in rushing with 1,108 yards and was selected to play in the Pro Bowl.

That doesn't matter to Koetter. He knows what he has in Winston and that no other rookie has done what the signal-caller has done.

"The three other players you mentioned, I have a ton of respect for all three of them," Koetter said. "[But] for a guy to play every snap of his rookie season and do all the things [Winston] has done, it's a no-brainer."